Here are some examples of changes we have made to Council services in the past year after listening to our customers and service users: Reducing child poverty and inequalities in incomes, education and health Local Fairness Initiatives have been developed in Linlathen and Stobswell West to address financial inequalities as well as a variety of other outcomes associated with poverty, such as poor health and wellbeing and poor housing. Steering groups have been established in the two neighbourhoods, with representation from local organisations who continually gather feedback from residents and ensure that the initiatives respond to the needs of the communities. The PACE quality improvement programme project has been continued into its third year and has been extended to teenagers, with improvement work being undertaken in engagement with young people about their long-term and/or permanent planning whether at home, in kinship care, long-term fostering or adoptive care. Various tests of change are underway where staff, children and parents/carers are consulted on the change to permanence planning processes. Feedback from these consultations is Informing future models of intervention. Fairness plans have been implemented to address pressures for families around the cost of the school day. Delivering inclusive economic growth In response to client feedback, the Adult Employability Service has rebranded and invested in its city centre base to make it more visible, accessible and welcoming to service users, and has started delivering daily “STEPS to Employment” workshops to improve the range of work preparation activities which service users can access. The Sustainable Transport and Roads team worked with the UNESCO City of Design team to establish the ‘Our Street Studio' - an on-street community co-design centre in an empty shop unit on Union Street. This was used as a base to work closely with local traders and residents and to share ideas for the future of Union Street. The UNESCO team have now taken the space on as a semi-permanent home for co-design work and future community engagement. Tackling climate change The annual Scottish Housing Day, designed to raise awareness of challenges and successes in the housing sector, focused this year on the importance of sustainable housing and climate change. We shared our support by posting across all available social media portals (and Dundee Federation of Tenant Associations’ website and social media pages) the wide range of projects and initiatives demonstrating the Council’s commitment to sustainability, including recycling, energy efficiency, electric vehicle infrastructure and insulation of the housing stock. The Environment Service continues to develop bio-diversity grasslands and naturalised grasslands in Dundee’s parks and greenspaces, working with local communities and Friends of Parks groups to develop and care for these areas, with opportunities to become involved in planting and maintenance events. The service also continues to support requests for growing in local communities. Working with Housing colleagues, the Community Allotment Officer assists and provides guidance to enable local people to grow their own fruit and vegetables. Building resilient and empowered communities Our Place Douglas Community Park is just one example of effective public consultation on local environmental projects. This begins at the design stage where the project officers arrange meetings to discuss ideas and residents’ aspirations to gauge what is required at grass roots level, to allow the community to engage in the development of projects and in turn improve, promote and increase respect for our public open spaces. Douglas Community Spaces Group was established to help develop and deliver a community park and extensive consultation was carried out over a number of years throughout the development and construction phases. As part of the Housing Allocations Policy review, there was wide consultation with individuals, community groups, residents, tenant organisations, Registered Social Landlords, staff and other key stakeholders such as Women’s Aid and Shelter Scotland. The aim was to ensure that the policy is open, transparent, fair and easy to understand and shows the Council’s commitment to fairness and equality within the allocation process. Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership continued to develop ways to support involvement of people who use Health and Social Care services, their carers and the workforce, including a ‘Call for Views’ inviting people to share their views by phone or email and take part in focus groups and discussions as well as completing a survey, while also involving existing groups. People identified priorities such as reducing inequalities, early intervention and prevention, and said the following areas were important - accessibility of services, transparent service information, personalisation, self-care and empowerment. They raised concerns about the impacts of the cost of living crisis and limited workforce capacity, and fears about potential budget cuts. People also said Communication and Information is critical and said use plain language and a variety of methods to share information about supports and services. Designing a Modern Council Children and Families have commissioned the Mind Of My Own digital app that will allow all care experienced young people to provide their views in a fashion that they are familiar with. Communications developed a TikTok channel to improve our service to younger citizens. Scientific Services now have an online client enquiry form available on the website. Clients can access the testing services provided and receive a quotation using the Firmstep system. With every test report sent to clients, a link to a questionnaire is provided for them to give feedback on the service. The National Entitlement Card Programme Office is engaged with Social Security Scotland to facilitate local authority direct access to benefit awards information, enabling eligibility verification which will result in more efficient application and renewal processing. An online repair tracker was introduced to save customers having to call Customer Services to ask about progress with repairs. An online form was created to allow customers greater flexibility for Council Tax payment dates. Improvements made in previous yearsImproved Access to Services Business Gateway adapted its services, delivering workshops as online webinars and introducing new topics including guidance on furlough and information on diversification to trading online. The Survive and Thrive Programme was introduced to provide one-to-one support to businesses from a dedicated adviser. Further support was provided for businesses to return and build back, including new opportunities to diversify and grow. Customer Services introduced a new online appointment system to allow customers to book a date and time suitable for them, along with voicemail facilities to allow customers to leave a message for an advisor to call them back rather than having to wait for their call to be answered. The National Entitlement Card team listened to customers’ feedback regarding the NEC website, which now includes a more user-friendly way for customers to find out what they can use their card for within their own area by entering their postcode. The arrangements for supply of free period products were enhanced to include a home delivery service. During lockdown, employees at Turriff House responded to residents’ requests by developing new activities including a virtual cafe, a socially distanced marathon, pen-pal letter writing between residents and pupils at St Clement's Primary which led to virtual maths and English classes led by the residents, and an outdoor Christmas Market. Staff from the Community Mental Health Teams for Older People created the ‘Stay at Home, Stay Safe and Have a Cuppy’ packs, which included seated exercises and yoga, word searches and quizzes, colouring sets, poems and carer stress tips, along with coffee and tea. Designing a Modern Council Children and Families have commissioned the Mind Of My Own digital app that will allow all care experienced young people to provide their views in a fashion that they are familiar with. Communications developed a TikTok channel to improve our service to younger citizens. Scientific Services now have an online client enquiry form available on the website. Clients can access the testing services provided and receive a quotation using the Firmstep system. With every test report sent to clients, a link to a questionnaire is provided for them to give feedback on the service. The National Entitlement Card Programme Office is engaged with Social Security Scotland to facilitate local authority direct access to benefit awards information, enabling eligibility verification which will result in more efficient application and renewal processing. An online repair tracker was introduced to save customers having to call Customer Services to ask about progress with repairs. An online form was created to allow customers greater flexibility for Council Tax payment dates. Improved Communication For those who could not return to school or nursery during the first few months of 2021, employees were in frequent contact with young people and parents to adapt learning and teaching. During and beyond lockdowns, closer engagement with young people and their families has provided a deeper understanding of children’s individual contexts, allowing schools to provide more dedicated and focused support to meet their needs. Environment employees used feedback from Bonnie Dundee volunteers to agree a plan to take forward Dundee’s 2021 Beautiful Scotland entry, and supported their preparations for Beautiful Scotland judging. Communications for digitally excluded and vulnerable audiences were prioritised, including the use of radio and bus stop advertising, following feedback from the Fairness Commissioners. The Communications team also launched a TikTok account following feedback on the best ways to interact with younger audiences. Social Prescribing Link Workers moved to telephone/online support during the pandemic and extended their coverage to an additional nine GP practices, meaning all practices now have access to link worker support. Service Users Shaping Services Parents, children and the wider school community told us what they would like the new East End Community Campus to be like, and their ideas were considered within the design process in partnership with the V&A Dundee, in advance of the wider public consultation. The Young Person’s Participation Group liaised with the Care Inspectorate on effective care planning, including the development of rich, rewarding and meaningful personal care plans. Partnership work with care experienced young people and Children’s Hearing Scotland led to young people becoming actively involved in the selection of Children’s Panel members. Community engagement with the parents of Fintry Primary School, Fintry Community Council, and stakeholders including Police Scotland shaped the design of the School Streets scheme to prohibit traffic around the school at the start and end of the school day. This work has informed the Council’s strategy for traffic management interventions at other schools. Completion of “Support Needs Questionnaires” at the start of every Community Justice Order has increased greatly and provided a discussion tool for workers to agree the intervention plan with each individual service user. The Engage Dundee Survey showed the profound impact of the pandemic on people’s mental and physical health and wellbeing, social connections and sense of security, as well as their material circumstances. In response, the Get on Track course was developed by the Community Health Team and was offered in community centres once restrictions had lifted. More Responsive Services A review of the Out of Hours Social Work service led to a revised model of service. The review examined the nature and pattern of referrals, considered the levels of risk and the proportionality of response, and used this to reconsider optimum staffing levels, with more staff available at peak times to meet the changing pattern of referrals and demand. The New Beginnings team at Linlathen Resource Centre remained open during lockdown as a safe haven for pregnant women and new mothers experiencing social isolation due to the restrictions combined with lack of family supports. In addition, staff were creative in the use of socially distanced walks to ensure those most in need had social connection and support where essential. Supervised family contact arrangements were adapted after restrictions on household mixing limited the number of contacts that were able to take place at indoor venues. In consultation with parents, an outdoor space at Linlathen was adapted to provide a generous space for family contacts, incorporating a screened outdoor play area. As a result of listening to the Champions Board, Dundee City Council now has a guaranteed interview scheme for care experienced young people who meet the essential criteria, which supports care leavers into employment. The timing of the Fuel Well scheme was brought forward from the year before because feedback said the provision of money in January was, in some cases, too late to have the best impact. Over 3,500 payments were made prior to Christmas 2021. Revised criteria were also co-produced with the Fairness Commissioners. A new policy was developed to support those affected by domestic abuse in Council housing, reflecting the views of those with lived experience. Dundee Non-Fatal Overdose Rapid Response Team was established. This multi-agency virtual team meets every week-day to discuss all individuals who have experienced a non-fatal overdose and a team of assertive outreach workers aims to contact the individuals quickly to offer a safety plan. Service users influencing policy Through the work of the Young Persons Participation Group and the Care Leavers Group, a number of changes have been made to services for looked after young people. These include aligning the payments received at Christmas and birthdays by young people in children’s houses to the same rates paid in foster care. Dundee’s Climate Change Action Plan was the culmination of a year’s worth of collaborative work recognising that a concerted city-wide effort is required, with many organisations contributing to the research, workshops and action planning. The Dundee Action Plan for Change in response to drug deaths was informed by the input of people with lived experience. Over 2,500 responses were received during the annual rent consultation following comprehensive door canvassing. Following feedback from tenants and DFTA, a summary is now issued to tenants with rent bills detailing how the housing budget is spent. Following discussions with DFTA, a solution was found to eliminate the shower charge without putting up other tenants’ rents to do so. In response to complaints about odour from Riverside Composting Facility, waste services developed an odour management plan. Changes were made to arrangements for ‘bring to’ glass recycling points following feedback from residents, including relocation of some bins or replacement with less noisy alternatives. Streamlining and modernising services Business Gateway used feedback and evaluations to improve the way they deal with calls and drop-in enquiries and to broaden the range of workshops. Driven by customer demand, 79% of all building warrant applications are now being processed electronically, up 10% on the previous year, while the service has acquired mobile devices to maximise the benefits of digital working. A new process was developed to deal with bin/recycling queries, enhancing the customer journey. A new trade waste database was developed to improve the management of the service which provides for recycling of commercial waste, paper and glass from private businesses. An ‘electronic handover’ was introduced to switch warden call systems to the Social Care Response Service at the end of shifts, removing the need for individuals to call in and block the switchboard with calls. Involving people in service delivery The Young Person’s Participation Group was involved in the recruitment and selection process for Children’s Panel members, while young people have also been involved in interviews for residential staff and staff in the fostering team. At the request of local architects, Building Standards held workshops on challenges in the building standards system, exemplar building warrant submissions and changes to building regulations. Following a survey of members of the Trusted Trader Scheme, significant efforts have been made to market the scheme through social media, including advertising on a new Facebook page. Meeting the needs of particular groups A Guaranteed Job Interview Scheme has been introduced for applicants up to age 29 who are, or have been, in care with the Council and meet the essential criteria for a job. A dedicated Health and Wellbeing Worker has been appointed to the Throughcare and Aftercare Team, which has already led to initiatives on food, sanitary products, contraception and signposting to mental health services. Further supported housing provision has been made for care leavers, including dedicated support from Action for Children in Arthurstone Terrace and development of 5 one bed flats in Rosefield Street supporting Care Leavers to move on in a graduated and supported way. A dedicated community space is being developed for kinship carers. Reception staff at Dundee House now use a table which connects to ContactScotlandBSL to better serve deaf customers who use BSL. Dundee House has also introduced ’Welcome by Neatebox’ which allows customers with specific accessibility requirements to notify these in advance of a visit. White Top Centre has continued to develop a range of methods to ascertain the views of service users with profound and multiple learning disabilities who do not communicate in traditional ways. This has included increasing use of switch technology, Makaton and object signifiers. Drop-in sessions have been organised for tenants at Adamson and Elders Court who were experiencing isolation and finding it difficult to contact relevant agencies for assistance. Services available include health checks and advice, referral to foodbanks, support for those recovering from drug or alcohol issues, home safety and housing advice. A revamped newsletter for sheltered housing tenants includes more standardised information and allows services to be highlighted and good news publicised. • A new weekly drop-in was established for people recovering from addictions. Improved Co-ordination Lead Professional Model being implemented to provide a more joined-up service to homeless people. Housing and Communities services brought together to enhance joint working in neighbourhoods Follow-up action to emergency repairs reviewed, to ensure that further work required is logged and done in a reasonable timescale. ABC (all bus companies) integrated travel ticket introduced. Improved Communication Simplified paperwork given to residents about External Wall Insulation, including pictures, examples of work and explanation of jargon. Frequently Asked Questions leaflet produced on External Cyclical Maintenance, reducing need for customers to phone for clarification. Home School Communication Group established to ensure communication from Kingspark meets the needs of parents/carers. Website with X feed introduced by Tayside Procurement Consortium to give businesses more information on contract opportunities. Information provided by Protecting People in other languages on who to contact if concerned about people at risk of harm or neglect. Home Care systems designed to alert organisers if carer has not visited service user at the time expected. Improved Design of Services Parentpay deployed, letting parents pay online for school meals and trips. New queue management system introduced at Dundee House and East and West District offices. New behaviour management system being developed to support pupils with complex needs. Social 'drop-in shop' introduced at Craigie House to replace trolley. Mackinnon Centre now has wi-fi throughout and brochures in bedrooms giving details of services and the surrounding area. Women-only swimming and gym sessions now available at Lochee. Emergency repairs re-categorised to improve efficiency and ensure real emergencies are tackled faster. First phase of new recycling arrangements implemented, with lessons learned to smooth remaining roll-out. Notes screen developed on Home Care system so alternative carers covering for regulars have information about service users' needs, preferences and routines. Improved Accessibility of Services Housing Options service now runs surgeries and outreach appointments. Learners of 'English for Speakers of Other Languages' can now access more hours of learning per week through a variety of modes. Young people can now apply for NEC cards, update their details and request replacement cards online. Customers can now report changes of circumstances affecting Housing Benefit over the phone, avoiding the need to come into offices. Improved Training All Customer Services employees have taken part in World Host training. Community Living staff have received specialist training to support individuals with complex needs and challenging behaviours. Improved Engagement with Customers Carers Charter being developed with carers, to ensure they have the support and information they need. Users and local management groups have been involved in the design of new community centres in Menzieshill and Hilltown. Increased opportunities for parents to discuss nursery pupils' learning and progress. People with lived experience of mental health issues being recruited as peer supporters and educators. Respite arrangements for people with mental health issues and their carers now give them more choice and control. We are always keen to hear and act on your views on Council services, so please give us your views by completing our feedback form tell the member of staff dealing with your query what you think - and what would have made your experience as a customer better.